Anthony Joshua demonstrates power in training session
Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed that his potential 2021 clash with rival Tyson Fury needs “a full capacity” crowd if there is “any chance” of the fight being staged in the UK. AJ looks set to meet Fury in a blockbuster heavyweight bout next year, with Hearn repeatedly saying there is a verbal agreement in place between the two parties.
The next stage of negotiations is to settle on a location and it appears likely the event will be held abroad, especially after London was moved into Tier 4 restrictions by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Hearn has claimed that “both fighters will have to take a significant reduction in purse for this fight to take place in the UK” and that the current restrictions on crowds would cost them “maybe 80 per cent” of their final purse.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Hearn said: “[The location] will be the next move.
“Our plan, after speaking to [Fury’s US-based promoter] Bob Arum, is to get the deal in place then go out to the relevant sites.
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“Obviously we all would like this fight to take place in the UK but you’ve seen London go into Tier 4 now.
“We had a crowd on Saturday [for Joshua’s win over Kubrat Pulev] but that has been taken away for the time being.There are a lot of unknowns in that respect.
“Both fighters will have to take a significant reduction in purse for this fight to take place in the UK, unfortunately. Probably half and, without a crowd, maybe 80 per cent.
“Really, to give us any chance, we need a full capacity in the UK.
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“We want to make sure this fight goes ahead for both fighters. Both camps have a responsibility to maximise the revenue for their biggest fight – this is the pinnacle of their careers, the biggest moment, nothing will ever beat it.
“At the same time, we all recognise this is two Brits fighting for the undisputed championship of the world. If there is a way to do it in the UK? Fantastic.”
Joshua has only fought outside of the UK twice, with his first bout against Andy Ruiz Jr. taking place at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden and the rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Comparatively, Fury has fought outside the UK on several occasions in America, Canada and Germany.
“Of course there are many countries around the world that want to stage this fight,” Hearn added. “It’s not only the biggest fight in boxing, it’s one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
“We will talk to everyone, present it to the fighters and their teams who will have to agree, then we move forward.
“Certainly one of the two [fights between Joshua and Fury] should take place in the UK.
“But is that possible in May? And where could we stage an event of this magnitude during that period?”
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